Audemars Piguet Watch – Masterful Craftsmanship
A company that started in 1875 and has remained a family business through history Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piquet founded Audemars Piquet with a shared passion for timepieces. Both originated from traditional watching families and while Jules-Louis managed the technical production side of the business, Edward-Auguste handled all the business aspects of the company. Establishing headquarters in Le Brassus in the Swiss Vallee de Joux the founders began their craft with pocket watches.
While the pair produced a chronograph version of the pocket watch in 1882, they took another magnificent step in 1889 with a brand Grande Complication, which was a very complex timepiece that won a medal at the World Exhibition in Paris. Then continuing to be a leader in the horological world, in 1891 the company graced the world with the first wristwatch with a minute repeater. Combining talent and passion the brand expanded worldwide opening in Berlin, Paris, London, Buenos Aires and New York. While many companies might have been sold or gathered up by larger companies, the Audepars Piquet group never faultered even when the two founders passed away.
The heirs of the company continued to develop and produce quality timepieces while keeping innovation and dedication to excellence as a top priority. Nothing impacted the success of the brand. As hard times touched the world, seeing World War II and the Great Depression take their toll, the demand for the brand watches never wavered, in fact the demand in the United States actually increased. The perfection that the brand brings in all designs is what makes them one of the forerunners in the watchmaking industry. Collectors, celebrities and timepiece enthusiasts all love the brand for exquisite design, and reliable quality.
The brand has done several limited edition pieces and special designs. Arnold Schwarzenegger wore a special limited edition design Audemars Piquet Royal Oak Offshore in two films, “End of Days” and “Terminator 3”, while Formula 1 legend, Michael Schumacher, was honored with a Royal Oak Concept Laptimer created specifically for him. Basketball player LeBron James and footballer Leo Messi are also brand ambassadors for the company.
In addition to taking care of celebrities the brand is actively involved in environmental causes and promotion of sustainable development. The Audemars Piquet Foundation gets donations from every timepiece sold to help with financing that works with reforestation causes, and projects that bring awareness to children on environmental protection.
The brand stands for luxury timepieces, precision and renowned manufacturing. While Swiss watchmaking faced difficult times in the 1970’s brands searched for innovative ideas and ways to use quartz. In 1972 the brands sports model changed the world of luxury watches as they launched one of the most famous designs, the Royal Oak and it became the flagship model for the company. Sport designs were not popular and the brand took a large chance with the design. However, Audemars Piquet never turned away from a challenge and certainly this risk paid off big for the brand. The Royal Oak set a benchmark for the entire industry and led the way for new styles and bold designs.
Worldwide the brand is adored and respected for their timepieces. The collections are all highly sought after and deliver striking shapes and distinct designs and movements. The Jules line is more a classic collection, while the Millenary series is more unique in design. One of the most unique from the brand is the Edward Piquet, and also the most difficult to find. While challenges will always be there for the family owned brand, clearly Audemars Piquet will remain a horological leader in the future.